United clinch Schneiderlin deal

After weeks of speculation, Morgan Schneiderlin has left Southampton to join Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Manchester United have completed the signing of Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin on an initial four-year contract.

Schneiderlin, who has made 231 league appearances since moving to Southampton ahead of the 2008-09 season, moves to Old Trafford for an undisclosed fee, with the option to extend his deal by a further 12 months.

The France international has made no secret of his desire to test himself in the UEFA Champions League and has been a reported target for Arsenal and Tottenham in the past.

However, it is United who emerged as strong favourites for his signature and Louis van Gaal continues the rebuilding of his squad ahead of a return to the Champions League, having already snapped up Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

"I am delighted to be a Manchester United player," he said. "Once I learned that United were interested in signing me, it was a very easy decision to make.

"I have enjoyed seven very happy years with Southampton and it’s a club that will always be in my heart. But the chance to be part of this squad to help this great club be successful was too good to miss."

Manager Louis van Gaal added: "Morgan is a very talented player with great energy and ability. His skills will complement the players that we already have"

Schneiderlin has been a popular figure at the St Mary's Stadium and was a part of the team that won back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League.

"Morgan’s departure is one that the club has had to be fully prepared for, and we are well under way with our plans to strengthen our midfield both with players emerging from our academy and from outside the club," explained Southampton executive director of football Les Reed.